Dubai universities record 25% surge in enrolments as new term starts

Universities adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by making admissions processes more flexible, extending application deadlines

  
A student walks across the Middlesex University Dubai in Dubai July 21, 2010. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A student walks across the Middlesex University Dubai in Dubai July 21, 2010. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mosab Omar
Dubai universities have commenced the new academic year with a 25 per cent surge in student enrolments.

Academic experts have said the increase in enrolments was the result of a combination of factors, including the UAE’s successful vaccination campaign and universities’ adherence to guidelines set forth by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Nahid Afshan, head of admissions at BITS Pilani Dubai, said: “It’s a great start to the new session. The demand and interest in our programmes has also seen a sharp 22 per cent rise in the student numbers from India and 20 per cent from UAE and GCC.”

Afshan also said there are several factors that make Dubai a coveted study destination, including its geographical proximity, lucrative job market, safety and security and exposure to a global marketplace.

Dr Vajahat Hussain, CEO of Amity Education Middle East, said: “We have seen better enrolments of foreign and local students this academic year. The three-fold surge is an optimistic articulation of this trend. The UAE has definitely proven to have good growth potential and numerous opportunities for students looking to grow personally and professionally.”

Universities adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by making admissions processes more flexible, extending application deadlines and hosting hybrid admissions events.

Gary Fernandes, head of prospect experience at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said student enrolments were higher this year compared to the previous academic year.

“Thirty per cent of our students are international students, while the remaining 70 per cent are domestic students,” he said. “Some popular programmes for this year include robotics, autonomous and interactive systems engineering, data science, artificial intelligence, and fashion branding and promotion.”

Dr Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja, the co-founder and director of Capital University College, said the college offers scholarships and flexible teaching methods to help students.

“We welcome and value the positive energy on our campus and look forward to another year of dedication to excellence in education,” he said.

To welcome students for the academic year, universities hosted the annual tradition of planting trees, signifying the arrival of a new graduating class.

Other ice-breaker events were also held, including fashion shows and dance, singing and beat boxing performances.

“Walking into new college filled with new faces can be daunting even for the most courageous hearts,” Afshan said. “Hence, we hold this icebreaker event every year to acclimatise the students to their new world. The fun, engaging and interactive event helps students get acquainted with various clubs, activities and the BITS culture."

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